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Two PhD positions in QFT, string theory and supergravity

Queensland University, Brisbane
Brisbane, Australia
Posting live until
20 May 2024

Applications are invited for two 3.5-year PhD positions in theoretical and mathematical physics in Australia. One position will be at the University of Queensland (UQ), in the St Lucia Campus, Brisbane, Queensland. The other will be at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale, New South Wales.

The positions are in support of the “Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project” project grant "Reaching new frontiers of quantum fields and gravity through deformations. ”

The project is led by Dr Gabriele Tartaglino-Mazzucchelli at the University of Queensland, together with the associate investigators:

Jock McOrist (University of New England, Australia),

Peter Bouwknegt (Australian National University, Australia),

Savdeep Sethi (University of Chicago, USA),

Alessandro Sfondrini (Padova University, Italy).

The project is designed around three interconnected aims:

1. To decipher new solvable deformations of quantum field theories. Use these to construct innovative links with non-local quantum field theories and quantum gravity.

2. To construct new deformations of supergravity, including higher-derivative ones. Use them to solve quantum-corrected low-energy string theory and understand its geometrical structures.

3. To pioneer new holographic dualities between quantum field and gravity theories based on solvable and higher-derivative deformations to tackle long-standing open problems in string theory.

The topics of these PhDs will align with the aims above. It will potentially touch on several areas of theoretical and mathematical physics of fundamental interactions, including supersymmetry, supergravity, string theory, integrable models, solvable (TTbar) deformations of quantum field theories, conformal field theories, holographic (AdS/CFT) dualities, black holes, geometry and dualities in string theory.

The scholarships include tuition fees, a living stipend, and Overseas Student Health Cover (for international applicants). The stipends are about AU$35k per annum (2024) for 3.5 years, with a possible six-month extension (at UQ), and are subject to UQ's and UNE's HDR admissions and scholarship policy requirements. Successful candidates must meet the minimum level of academic achievement and English language proficiency requirements.

Preferred candidates should have a background in Theoretical and/or Mathematical Physics of fundamental interactions and possess good knowledge of quantum field theory, General Relativity, and Geometry, but applications from candidates with a broader background are welcome.

Prior knowledge of supersymmetry, supergravity, conformal field theories, integrable field theories, and other topics related to string theory is preferred.

To be considered, applicants are first required to provide the following documents:

  • CV including a list of publications (if any).
  • Academic transcript with the complete list of courses and grades.
  • A statement of research interests of less than two pages.
  • Masters/Honours thesis (if already available).
  • Two letters of recommendation sent via email directly by the referees.

The documents need to be sent by email to Dr. Gabriele Tartaglino-Mazzucchelli and Dr. Jock McOrist at the addresses:

The review of the applications will start after the 31st of May 2024, but earlier applications are welcome.

Starting dates for the positions can be negotiated, and for international candidates, it might depend on visa processing times. Likely, international students will have a start in January 2025 and no earlier than October 2024.

For further information contact:

Dr. Gabriele Tartaglino-Mazzucchelli

Dr Jock McOrist


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